Armistice Day

The Reading Connections project may have finished, but work is still ongoing to research the people who appear in the Book of Remembrance of those Members of The University College Reading who fell in The War 1914-1918.  More information has been discovered by volunteer Jeremy Jones on many of the people in the book, including Florence Mary Faithfull.  The Memorial book contained just the name of Florence with no further information, including what her connection to Reading University College was.


Memorial page A-H


Many details have been added which bring her to life.  She was born about 1892, the daughter of Constance M. Faithfull (neé Deshon), of Kingsworthy, Crowthorne, Berkshire, and the Late Lt. Col. W. C. Faithfull (I.A.).  She had been born in India but came to Britain with her four siblings before the war, living at 26 Upper Redlands Road, Reading in 1911. She obtained a Certificate in Commerce in 1911 from Reading University College.  Florence became a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse in 1914.

In 1918 she was nursing in Basra, Iraq with the Voluntary Aid Detachment, 65th British General Hospital.  She died on 15 January 1918, aged just 26, when a launch, in which she was travelling with a Matron and 12 other nursing staff, was in collision with a tug.   They had been invited by the Officer Commanding Beit Naana Officers’ Hospital to spend the afternoon of 15th January 1918 at his unit, to meet his convalescent officers and have tea. They were transported by motor launch, but on the return journey they were involved in an accident.  Florence’s body was not recovered until 2 February 1919. Four members of the nursing staff died. The result of the Court of Enquiry was accidental death, due to an error of judgement on the part of the steersman of the launch[1].

Florence is buried at Basra War Cemetery (Subair Gate) Part I, grave/memorial reference is I. G. 14.

If you have any further information on Florence Mary Faithfull please let us know.  You can add further details by visiting our Flickr site.  It would be especially good to find a photograph of her.

The memorial book is part of an exhibition at the main library until January 2015.


[1]  Information taken from